The fibronectin expression determines the distinct progressions of malignant gliomas via transforming growth factor-beta pathway

Chih Wei Chen, Cheng Han Yang, Yuan Ho Lin, Ya Chin Hou, Tain Junn Cheng, Sheng Tsung Chang, Yu Hua Huang, Shang Ting Chung, Chung Ching Chio, Yan Shen Shan, Hung Chi Cheng, Wen Tsan Chang

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the increasing incidence of malignant gliomas, particularly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a simple and reliable GBM diagnosis is needed to screen early the death-threaten patients. This study aimed to identify a protein that can be used to discriminate GBM from low-grade astrocytoma and elucidate further that it has a functional role during malignant glioma progressions. To identify proteins that display low or no expression in low-grade astrocytoma but elevated levels in GBM, glycoprotein fibronectin (FN) was particularly examined according to the mining of the Human Protein Atlas. Web-based open megadata minings revealed that FN was mainly mutated in the cBio Cancer Genomic Portal but dominantly overexpressed in the ONCOMINE (a cancer microarray database and integrated data-mining platform) in distinct tumor types. Furthermore, numerous different cancer patients with high FN indeed exhibited a poor prognosis in the PrognoScan mining, indicating that FN involves in tumor malignancy. To investigate further the significance of FN expression in glioma progression, tumor specimens from five malignant gliomas with recurrences that received at least two surgeries were enrolled and examined. The immunohistochemical staining showed that FN expression indeed determined the distinct progressions of malignant gliomas. Furthermore, the expression of vimentin (VIM), a mesenchymal protein that is strongly expressed in malignant cancers, was similar to the FN pattern. Moreover, the level of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) inducer transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) was almost recapitulated with the FN expression. Together, this study identifies a protein FN that can be used to diagnose GBM from low-grade astrocytoma; moreover, its expression functionally determines the malignant glioma progressions via TGF-β-induced EMT pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3782
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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